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This issue considers some of the latest developments in Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance.
MetLife Auto & Home® launched SnapQuote® which it calls a ‘digital insurance marketplace’ (Powered by Bindable). SnapQuote pulls data from existing platforms and with only minimal additional data entry can deliver quotes from MetLife and other home and auto insurance providers. The platform is claimed to provide information to consumers including direct access to agents to answer questions and buy policies. SnapQuote is delivered as a white label product which it is claimed is a solution for mortgage lenders, banks, credit unions, employers, member associations and insurance brokers.
Staying with MetLife, Hyundai has partnered with the insurer to offer customers a car subscription program that starts at $279 and includes insurance and maintenance. Available initially in just five Ohio dealerships, the program is planned to expand out to additional states once the kinks are ironed out. The program allows customers to lock in a fixed rate for the full three years. In another related test, General Motors will bundle a year’s worth of MetLife car insurance in the purchase of new GM cars in Washington and Oregon.
Amica has dipped its toe into the UBI pool with a telematics program called FlexMile. The policy makes best sense for people that drive less than 8,000 miles a year. With FlexMile® drivers pay for the miles driven with an option to buy packages of miles to lock in a rate good for up to 1,000 days. Miles are tracked by an onboard dongle (for Amica’s use) and a smartphone app (for the consumer view).
Staying with UBI/Telematics, leading New Jersey insurer NJM Insurance Group is the latest insurer to select Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS), to provide the solution behind its smartphone-based telematics program. IMS’ DriveSync® platform enables insurers to collect usage data from smartphones, OBD and Bluetooth® devices, as well as embedded OEM integration.
Watch IMS’s promotion video
Hanover Insurance partnered with TrueMotion to offer SafeTeen. The program seeks to encourage safe driving among teens through the combination of education, rewards and savings. SafeTeen is available through the company’s agents for drivers aged 16-19 and provides an overall driving score based on behaviors such as speeding, harsh braking, distraction and acceleration.
The Stick – A separate parent dashboard for parents gives insight into the teen’s driving behavior which is the stick.
The Carrot – Participating parents will receive a discount on their own auto policy and teens that score well may qualify to receive Amazon rewards.
In the category of “nice try if you can get it” – Insurtech SURE is betting on the uncertainty felt by passengers that use ridesharing services such as UBER and Lyft. The policy provides additional medical and accidental death and dismemberment coverage and is underwritten by Chubb. RideSafe offers one-day coverage by downloading the SURE app and connecting to Uber or Lyft accounts. Coverage starts automatically on entering a vehicle and continues for 24 hours regardless of the number of rides. Premiums will be determined initially by geography with the plan to provide the same coverage for passengers of autonomous ridesharing fleets. The company also has the goal of expanding to riders of rental bikes and electric scooters.
Moving onto commercial insurance – last year Progressive launched a program that included providing electronic logging devices (ELD) to truckers free of charge – on the proviso that Progressive could get access to all the data collected. Now, twenty-five billion miles later, Progressive launched Smart Haul, a usage-based insurance program for commercial truck drivers that adjusts insurance rates based on data from drivers’ ELD. The policy is available to all owner operators and small fleets that have an installed ELD. An initial minimum 3% policy discount is guaranteed which is provided simply for signing up and sharing ELD driving data. Over time, rates will be adjusted based on drivers’ actual ELD data.
Selective Insurance also joined those offering commercial monitoring with Selective Drive for commercial auto customers. The program, in partnership with Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions, features sensors and cloud-based applications to help business owners monitor driver and vehicle safety as well as as manage and maintain vehicle fleets. The Selective Drive app monitors speed, location, idle time, and harsh driving which includes acceleration, turning, and stopping. In addition, the app is able to detect distracted driving by identifying phone calls and other phone usage while the vehicle is in motion.
And finally – following the money with the appetite for insurtech still very much alive. UBI vendor Root Insurance raised an additional $100 million which takes its market value at a cool, $1Billion making Root the first P&C “unicorn”. Root is just 3 years old is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and backed by Munich Re and Odyssey Re among others. The additional capital is slated to deepen penetration in existing markets and expand into new states. Root offers insurance quotes to drivers after a brief 2-3 testing period using a mobile app and cherry picking the best drivers. Root is available today in 20 states with 5 more on the near horizon.
CSAA-backed Owl Cameras added an additional $10million to its coffers bringing its total to $28 million. Owl has developed dashboard-mounted cameras that capture footage both inside and outside the vehicle. The key benefits claimed is the ability to catch thieves after break-ins and help innocent victims avoid blame in crashes.
San Francisco pay-per-mile insurer Metromile collected another $90m for its war chest. The lead investor in the latest round is Tokyo Marine which takes its total funding to date up to $300m. The company will use the funds to expand its product and “simplify every step of the insurance experience through the use of AI in claims processing.